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Introducing Basic Media Literacy Education Skills with Greeting Cards
|Grades||5 – 6|
|Lesson Plan Type||Standard Lesson|
|Estimated Time||Three 50-minute sessions|
Fredonia, New York
This lesson is a starting point for getting younger writers involved in media literacy education. In this lesson, students examine elements of holidays/events, invent their own original holiday, and examine and create holiday/event cards based on those chosen. Through reflection, students realize that good communication doesn’t just “happen.” Good communication is purposely constructed to achieve a particular effect. This lesson is most appropriate for younger writers, and can give a boost to students who lack confidence in their writing. It could also be easily adapted for use with English language learners by focusing on holidays in their own cultures.
Because students are bombarded with media messages on a daily basis, they need practice in basic media literacy, defined as a series of communication competencies for processing those messages. Students must be able to interpret and respond to information as well as compose messages of their own for specific purposes and audiences. The National Association for Media Literacy Education’s (NAMLE) Core Principals (http://namle.net/publications/core-principles/ ) remind teachers that media literacy education (MLE) cannot be taught in one lesson or even in one unit; rather, the skills developed by MLE “necessitate integrated, interactive, and repeated practice.” This simple lesson is a starting point for getting young writers involved in media literacy education because at its root are some fundamental principles: All messages are constructed and require active inquiry and critical thinking to be fully understood. The activities in this lesson help students focus on the reasons for composing messages as they do. Through reflection, students realize that good communication doesn’t just “happen.” Good communication is purposely constructed to achieve a particular effect.
National Association for Media Literacy Education’s (NAMLE) Core Principals (http://namle.net/publications/core-principles/ )
Spangler, Susan. “Holiday Cards and Custom Messages: An Introduction to Media Literacy Education Skills.” Classroom Notes Plus January 2011: 7-9.